Not in this post...
The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of only two teams with 2 Top 20 pitching prospects in baseball. The Seattle Mariners are the other team with Taijuan Walker and Danny Hultzen.
|2012 Bowman Platinum Dual Auto Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole numbered 2/50|
It's not unrealistic to think that 2 other top pitching prospects in the game Zack Wheeler and Tyler Skaggs could have been wearing black and gold. Both players were on many fans draft boards for the 2009 draft and have since been traded by the teams that drafted them for star players Carlos Beltran and Dan Haren respectively. Wheeler ranks 8th overall and Skaggs ranks 10th overall according to MLB.com.
The 2009 draft class was LOADED with high school talent.
Let's not forget who went #25 overall
Or who went in the 3rd Round (91st overall) Wil Myers
I've met the Pirates 2009 1st Round Pick (4th overall) Tony Sanchez a couple times.
I like him. He seems like he could be a decent backstop in the future. However, he was 4th overall in the draft and was viewed as a signability pick. The Pirates passed over a few potential quality arms in that same draft because they wanted to use the money saved on signing Sanchez to sign guys like highschoolers Zach Von Rosenberg (struggling in A ball), Trent Stevenson (already retired after reaching only A- ball), and Colton Cain (traded in Wandy Rodriguez deal last summer).
Let's look at some of the high school arms the Pirates passed on.
Zach Wheeler (6th overall) East Paulding High School (CA) SF traded to NY Mets
Jacob Turner (9th overall) Westminster Christian Academy (MO) Detoit traded to Miami
Matt Purke (14th overall) Klein High School (TX) Texas did not sign. currently in Washington's system
Shelby Miller (19th overall) Brownwood High School (TX) St. Louis
Tyler Skaggs (40th overall) Santa Monica High School (CA) Oakland traded to Arizona
Personally I was hoping the Pirates would select Wheeler or Purke with the 4th overall pick. Teams win championships with pitching and while a good signal caller is helpful, it isn't going to get the Pirates any closer to finishing with a winning record. They blew their chance at getting a great catcher in the 2007 draft when they passed on Matt Wieters (Scott Boras client) to sign Daniel Moskos. Moskos isn't even a LOOGY. He's minor league depth.
At least the Pirates learned their lesson from the 2009 draft and are starting to draft who they view as the best player available and growing a stable of future aces.
Gerrit Cole & Jameson Taillon will likely be called up to the Majors at some point this year.
I can't really say the same for Tony Sanchez. That's not a direct knock on Sanchez, but with Russel Martin signed for 2 years and fan favorite backup catcher Mike McKenry still having 4 years of control left, I don't see him getting a shot unless an injury happens.
Had the Pirates drafted any of the highest upside high school arms in 2009 (most likely Wheeler or Purke) and been able to sign 2012 1st rounder Mark Appel from last year's draft, their rotation in 2015 would be dominating and mostly homegrown with many years of control still left.
free agent signing or one of Jeff Locke/Justin Wilson/James McDonald
Since this is a card blog though I will briefly talk about the 2012 Bowman Platinum Dual AUTO of Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole I grabbed. It's numbered 2/50. It wasn't cheap and cost me $31 a signature. This card hasn't been popping up in recent months so I felt that I needed to pull the trigger if I was ever going to add it to my collection.